Political Reform in Japan

Leadership Looming Large

By Alisa Gaunder

© 2007 – Routledge

178 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415690003
pub: 2011-10-12
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Hardback: 9780415415903
pub: 2007-04-10
US Dollars$168.00
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About the Book

Political Reform in Japan argues that the quality of political leadership is the crucial determinant of whether parties in positions of dominance, like the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, pass or reject policies such as electoral system and campaign finance reforms that could harm the party's future electoral chances.

By comparing successful reform drives led by Miki Takeo, Ozawa Ichiro and Koizumi Junichiro with unsuccessful reform efforts pursued by Kaifu Toshiki, Miyazawa Kiichi and Kono Yonhei, Alisia Gaunder forces a reconsideration of the structure versus agency debate in political science, and of the conventional wisdom on Japanese politics that consensus decision-making norms and factional power balancing produce little in the way of political leadership.

Table of Contents

1. The Puzzle of Political Reform 2. Miki Takeo: An Outsider Stands Firm Inside the LDP 3. Kaifu Toshiki: Mr. Clean Plays It Safe 4. Miyazawa Kiichi: An Anti-Reformer Caught in "Reform Fever" 5. Ozawa Ichiro: Rebel with a Cause 6. Junior Politicians: Ideas and Action without Access 7. Koizumi Junichiro: A New Kind of Leadership? 8. Conclusion: Political Leadership in Japan

About the Author

Alisa Gaunder is the Henry Luce Assistant Professor of East Asian Politics at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Japan Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Japan.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL008000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
POL016000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General
POL025000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Leadership
POL029000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General